India over-dependent on China for APIs import: NSA
The Dollar Business Bureau
India’s growing imports of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) from its neighbour China has become a cause of concern, which even prompted the National Security Advisor (NSA) to warn the government for majorly depending on China for sourcing APIs and essential drugs, the Parliament was informed on Friday.
In 2015-16, India’s imports of APIs from China amounting to Rs.13,853.20 crore, or 65.29 percent of the overall imports of API of Rs.21,216.91 crore, said Mansukh L Mandaviya, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, in response to a question in Rajya Sabha.
India’s imports from its neighbouring country stood at Rs.12,757.96 crore in the fiscal of 2014-15 and Rs.12,061.53 crore in the year earlier, he added.
“Economic considerations are the primary reasons for imports,” the minister said.
On the question, whether the NSA has cautioned the government for over depending on China for sourcing the APIs and essential drugs, Mandaviya replied in a ‘yes’.
“The policies of the government are formulated from time-to-time so that the country does not have to depend only on one source to fulfill its requirements,” he said.
The minister said that for further promoting the production of bulk drugs in the country, the government in a notification issued on January 28, 2016 announced the withdrawal of exemption in customs duty which was earlier provided to some specific drugs and bulk drugs categories.
“This government step would support the country in reducing its dependence on China for sourcing some essential APIs,” he added.